photographic projects

project: an enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular goal; proposed or planned path of action; an idea.

that pic was taken while working on a photo project. a personal project, but a project nonetheless. i’ve finished photographing for it. i’m not sure how to structure it or even if i want to complete it. 300 pictures over 6 months languishing in limbo.

i ran across it while combing through the images for the project, trying to get a handle on it. still haven’t. somehow the image resonated with me. but, not because it’s necessarily a great image.

photographic stories

story: an account of people and events; a report; a chronicle.

i follow a former professional photographer on youtube. he harps on “story” quite a bit.  “you have to have a story.” “there must be a story.” “tell a story.” he talked about having a photo set that told a story. a single photo may not mean anything by itself, but stick it with another and you might have the story.

story. story. story.

i understood what he was saying. but, i didn’t quite know, feel, have an instinct for what he meant.

photographic epiphany

i had created a menu item on this website called projects where i was going to showcase some of the photography projects i had been working on. the stagnant project was one. i had hoped that a menu item might provide some motivation and direction to finish it. it did not. what it did do was motivate me to organize and complete the clara project. when clara was born i endeavoured to capture pictures of her that would show her growing up. i succeeded in that goal and had quite a bit to go through. i wanted to show clara and her personality through 4 years of life. i began to sort, filter, and organize the images. as i was going through them all, certain images would coalesce into a group.

i saw small stories from a particular day appear; small daily stories within the larger story of 4 years.

then it became clear to me. this wasn’t the clara project. this was the story of clara. well, a story of clara. the one i’m telling. my story of clara.

i changed the menu item from projects to stories.

epiphanic results

now, back to the image in this post. i suddenly connected with this particular image because it was part of the story of the project. i remember what i was thinking when i took it. what the original purpose was. now, if only i could get that feeling for all those other images. i just need to connect the story i am trying to tell.

it became clear to me what the youtube photographer meant and means. i can’t quite put it into words other than “tell the story.” i now feel the meaning of those words.

i updated the portfolio on my homepage to group pics together that tell small stories. there are still a few orphans down at the bottom that i need to work through. but, overall i think things there are more cohesive.

i also began looking at wedding photography from a different perspective. i enjoy the wedding day story that is told through pictures. candid, documentary style pictures. so, i began offering wedding photography in that style.

i have also looked back on my hiking pictures and realize that the reason i felt kind of lost when i was taking photos was because i was simply trying to capture those hero shots. there were so many stories i could have photographed.

i can envision family photo shoots becoming mini stories. i’ve photographed our youngest daughter’s family on three different occasions and each shoot is indeed a story. some of the best photos developed out of the random actions of the kids while trying to get them posed for the “family shot”.

that picture was not the genesis of the epiphany, but it did cause me to reflect on it and distill my photographic focus into words.


Published On: 2023 October 5

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